Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Movie Review: Miss Potter

Synopsis By Amazon: Miss Potter walks that fine line between charming and cloying with pleasing sure-footedness. Apple-cheeked Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones' Diary) once again slips into a British accent to play writer/illustrator Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit. Potter, born into wealth, fought the disapproval of her high society mother to do something as crass as publish a book...and to fall in love with her publisher, Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor, previously teamed with Zellweger in Down With Love). Unfortunately, their love runs into something worse than upper-class stuffiness. Miss Potter skips through Potter's life a bit too briskly at times, but Zellweger's thankfully restrained performance, McGregor's infinite charm, and some beautiful shots of the English landscape keep the movie grounded and engaging. Also featuring a crackling supporting performance by Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) as Warne's sister Millie.

Review: Thanks to a cozy mystery series that has Beatrix as a central character, I've become fascinated with the author. This movie is a beautiful telling of how she came to be a published author and how she found love twice in her life.

Renee Zellweger plays Beatrix to perfection. She is an actress I don't usually care for, maybe it is because she's usually in roles where she's playing a glamorous lead, like Roxy or Bridget. Beatrix Potter is not glamorous.

But beyond the acting, which is superb with all players, MacGregor and Watson as well, is the way the characters of Miss Potter's books are brought to life, particularly the cheeky Jemima Puddle Duck, who wags her tail feathers at Norman on Christmas Eve.

This film is a feast for the senses. Potter's Lake District is lush and beautiful. It leaves you longing to visit Hill Top farm and all of her animals. To take in the sights of the English countryside. Even Potter's London home is stunning.

Knowing a bit of Potter's life made watching the last 30 minutes a trial. Not because there was any problem with the story, but because I knew that Norman was going to die and my heart broke for her.

I did like how the ended it showing her finding love again, with William Heelis.

This is definitely a must see movie for anyone that longs to learn more about the life of a very intriguing woman.

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